Monday, July 11, 2005

Kids Helping Kids

One of the major developments in the Twentieth Century was the non-religious mutual support and change movement, perhaps led by Alcoholics Anonymous. La Leche League began in a similar fashion, with moms who were having difficulty breast-feeding their babies meeting up at a picnic, and deciding to continue meeting and helping one another. In the early days of the modern women's movement, consciousness-raising groups started the same way, and eventually led to the establishment of women's health clinics, rape relief, abused women's shelters, Ms. Magazine and other fixtures of modern life.

So I'm glad to see young gay kids helping one another. Adolescence is difficult for most people, and our culture makes it even harder for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transexual youngsters. Look at The Mail Crew: GREAT site. Read the "How It Started" section.

Tiga found this group -- Thanks, Tiga! CAFETY.ORG, Care Not Coercion - Community Alliance for the Ethical Treatment of Youth (CAFETY) is a volunteer youth-run effort, in support of protection for the human rights of youth in punitive behavior modification boot camps, wilderness programs, and 'therapeutic' boarding schools.

Oasis magazine online -- what a great place! Lots of great teen writers:

Another great site - SEX, ETC. by teens, for teens:

Here is a letter that a boy named Justin wrote to his friend, who was struggling with his sexuality: Generous of him to share with anyone else who is also struggling.

Here is the comic FreeZ, written by a young person, about the plight of another teen: This is one of a large number of projects on MySpace started by teens. Here are some I'm familiar with:
Free Z, a group started in dedication to Zach, a young man who was currently being held against his will and being forced to suffer acts of child abuse in the name of religion, started by Ben, age 16. This group has over 4000 members, and is very active, and creative! It has now expanded its reach to include all teens held against their will in these "ex-gay" camps.

Take Action to Legalize Gay Marriage, started by Melly, age 19.

Another, Support Gay Marriages! has almost 22,000 members, and was established by yoko, age 17!

Youth Guardian Services - created by 19 year-old Jason Hungerford who wanted to create a space for teens and young adults only. Monitored email lists for specific age groups; sexually explicit conversations are discouraged.

The Gay Youth Corner is managed by a 17-year-old student in the UK. He describes it as "an international resource, community, profile, and chat website for young gay, bisexual and lesbian people. Working to encourage gay youth to network and gay youth websites to propagate widely and wisely."

Young Gay America, while not started by teens, was created and is run by young people, for teens. They now publish YGA Magazine, too.

GayBoySupport is a site in The Netherlands for gay teen guys. Well-written, complete, and funny. GayGirlSupport is under construction.

Gay-Straight Alliances, while supported by GLSEN and having teacher-advisors, are started and run by teens, for teens. How To Start a GSA:

All big things in this world are done by people who are naive and have an idea that is obviously impossible. - Frank Richards

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